It’s not that God hasn’t been doing something in my life, heart, and/or soul…on the contrary…He’s changing me everyday. Yet, I don’t have this overwhelming urge to write something on “here”. I write in my journal every day, and there are funny and interesting things that are happening…so what gives? Am I just done with blogging? No….I guess I don’t want to post something that isn’t worth your time to read.
I’m having a hard time balancing God with everything else in my life. I’ve been reading Isaiah as of late..and man he doesn’t hold back. In the first chapter – BOOM! – Jerusalem, you’re a whore! (Vs. 21) The whole first chapter talks about the falling away from God, and then sinful nature of the people: the idols…the garbage that “we” assume to give to God as an offering. Read the first chapter:
1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.
5 Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.
7 Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
9 If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12 “When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
21 How the faithful city
has become a whore,
she who was full of justice!
Righteousness lodged in her,
but now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross,
your best wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
and the widow’s cause does not come to them.
24 Therefore the Lord declares,
the Lord of hosts,
the Mighty One of Israel:
“Ah, I will get relief from my enemies
and avenge myself on my foes.
25 I will turn my hand against you
and will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy.
26 And I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
the faithful city.”
27 Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,
and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks
that you desired;
and you shall blush for the gardens
that you have chosen.
30 For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water.
31 And the strong shall become tinder,
and his work a spark,
and both of them shall burn together,
with none to quench them.
God speaks to us through His word. That is how we know what it is that He wants to tell us. Ok. Check. I’m sinful. I’m an idol worshiper. I’m faithful now, but at any moment I could be a whore. Wow. I know these things, but do I own these things? How are you all about God and yet function in a world that is NOT all about God?
He’s coming; He’s going to judge. He’s made that clear. Chapter 2 talks about His wrath, and how awful it will be. So awful the people of the world will give up their precious gold and silver (which obviously are nothing, yet we strive to obtain them at all costs) to hide in caves and holes to escape His wrath. The really silly part is you can’t hide from God. You can live in a cave, but do you honestly think He doesn’t know you’re there?
His justice will come, and it will burn all the iniquity on the Earth. Isaiah ends chapter 2 with this:
“22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he.”
We constantly give praise to men/women (for those who need me to be a feminist). We exalt the deeds of man to no end: “Oh, so and so was just amazing in that movie.” “Oh, so and so did a great job keeping peace in the middle east.” “Oh, so and so did this…” “Oh, so and so did that.” “Oh, so and so designed an amazing machine.” Blah blah blah….
Yet, we don’t look at the trees, and fields, and sky, and everything around us and say: “Wow…God is so amazing.” We don’t wake up every morning and instantly give thanks for another day to serve Him. I’m so guilty of this: My first thought of the day is: who sent me a message on fb or via email? Who’s doing what today? Did they respond? I wonder what I’ll have for lunch. I wonder…. DUDE…I’m so shallow.
We should be consumed by God’s glory, not consumed by the fleeting things of the world, right? So what gives? Why do we put God second or third or forth or fifth? Why is He not the dominant force in our lives? We don’t breath without His grace. We don’t walk without His grace. We don’t eat without His grace. All these things that we have come from Him, so why do we not acknowledge Him and give Him thanks by living for Him and Him alone?
Then some people say, well, God gave us movies and God gave us plays and God gave us….But, do those things really glorify Him? God gave us the ability to make art, but where’s the line? Is there glory to God in a nude scene in a movie? I know God made the human body, but is He really glorified if we watch two people have sex in a movie? Especially two people who aren’t even portrayed as a married couple in said movie? Or even in a book? Or a television show?
Profane language? Is God glorified when we use language that is offensive to others? Is God glorified with we drop the f-bomb or call our boss a b****? Does the bible say, “Do not use the f-word!” ..not in those terms, but it says to not use profane language. So if we watch a show that contains profane language, is that glorifying to God?
I don’t think so. I don’t necessarily like admitting to that. I enjoy certain movies that use bad language throughout the film. Should I watch it? No. I shouldn’t.
I know what you might be thinking…some of you…of the five people who read this blog….”Woah, Lori, you’re becoming one of those Jesus freaks! You’re going to start burning books next, aren’t you. You’re going to outlaw dancing just like in Footloose, aren’t you?”
No. We all have to make our own choices. But I go back to my initial statement about me: I’m having a hard time finding the balance of being all about God, yet living in this world. The bible is so clear as to how we are to live. So clear. Yet it goes against everything we are bombarded with by society.
Just as Isaiah 2 says,
“22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he.”
Can we really afford to care what man thinks? For really, of what account IS he? He will be in a cave trying to escape the wrath of God….so what then? Will we care then what man thinks or does? Nope. The glory of God is the only thing that will matter then, but guess what…it’s the only thing that matters NOW!
What will it be? How will you live? For today/for man, or for God? It’s not easy, but remember…the gate is narrow and the path is hard.